China Day 21


So we were SUPPOSED to land in Shanghai around 2:30 pm, but our flight got delayed until seven!!!  This is bad on many levels: for starters, we spent all day in a crappy airport.  Secondly, many of us, myself included, saved our shopping and souvenir/gift buying for Yuan Gardens that afternoon, so all of a sudden my buying gifts for people was reduced to the airport.  Super super lame.  Worst of all, I was really looking forward to exploring Shanghai, which didn’t happen.  Alas, we all kept as good an attitude as possible about it, and when we did get to the hotel, we had a last feast set for us across the street.  I decided to shave my beard, since the main reason I grew it was for the tour.  It’s funny how some people didn’t notice anything had changed, and others could hardly recognize me!

After dinner, we stayed around the restaurant for awhile, and then explored the nightlife, which, at first, seemed like another Tuesday night in any town: lame.  We found awesome stuff to do, but this part of the evening is going to be censored on a public site ;)

Got back to the hotel about 4:15, quickly packed, and headed to the airport.  Plane to Tokyo, layover, and now I’m on a plane back to the good ole US of A!

Let me say, this has been an absolutely life changing and amazing experience.  I met so many new people, many of which I will keep in contact with well beyond this trip.  I will never forget all the things I have seen, the locals I have interacted with.  I will never forget Jane, who was supposed to just be our translator, but ended up being our tour guide, tour mom, comedic relief, stage hand, translator, and one of the kindest souls that I will ever meet on this planet without question.  I will never forget Mr. Mao, our producer on this tour, who helped us every step of the way and gave so much to making sure that every night was a success.  I will never forget all of the people in the orchestra, who I got to share making amazing music with for three weeks, under our phenomenal conductor, Jason Altieri.  If asked again, I would do another tour like this in a heartbeat.Though, I must say, it’s going to be nice to get back to my house, my bed, my kids, and my life at home.  After another eight to ten hours of plane ride.

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